An organization claiming to be "the only legal satanic church in Oklahoma" is hosting an event at the Civic Center Music Hall in October that will include a "public satanic exorcism."
The group, called the Church of the IV Majesties, has booked the Civic Center, 201 N Walker, for Oct. 21, said Jim Brown, Civic Center general manager.
The group posted its event on Meetup.com, stating that it is a "church for any Satanist (modern or traditional) or anyone who is interested in Satanism."
In a telephone interview, James Hale, 37, of Oklahoma City, said he is the Church of the IV Majesties' lord high master of the Infernal Council.
He said his group is hosting the October event to educate the public about what they do.
"We've been a group for a while, and we've just legally formed a church," Hale said during a telephone interview Monday. "When the boogeyman comes out of the basement, it's not so bad."
The group's website at http://churchoftheivmajesties.webs.com states that members believe that "man created god and that man can destroy god. Thus man is god."
Hale would not disclose how many people are members of the church, but he said it is made up of people who believe in Satan as a friendly entity, people who believe there are no gods and people, like himself, who believe they are gods.
Hale said the group "likes to keep things mobile" by meeting in members' homes. He said this is to prevent problems caused by people with opposing viewpoints, which he said they encountered in Yukon.
He said the ritual of satanic exorcism promoted in the group's Meetup.com posting was written by himself and another Church of the IV Majesties member about two months ago. One website found on the Internet by The Oklahoman described the purpose of the "rite of satanic exorcism" is to "drive the 'holy spirit' from one who has recently converted to the ways of the Left Hand Path and Satanism." However, Hale said the ritual his group plans to perform is a parody of the Roman Catholic Church's exorcism ritual.
"It's just a blasphemy ritual poking fun at the Catholic ritual," Hale said.
Monday, Jennifer McClintock, Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation spokeswoman, said the Civic Center has hosted a wide variety of groups over the years. She said the Church of the IV Majesties has leased one of the smaller rooms at the Civic Center, not the main hall.
She said the Civic Center has been the site of Easter pageants in the past.
"As a public building, we don't discriminate against any group, whether it be religious or nonreligious," she said. "As long as the group comes in and abides by city laws, we will host them."
Hale said the church is unsure of the public response to their event.
"We're not looking to start trouble or anything," he said.
"We are hoping they (public) will take advantage of the opportunity to be educated. We know Christians can be violent. They shot at (Anton) LaVey (founder of the Church of Satan). ... We have the utmost confidence that the Oklahoma City Police Department will do their job."